3 Ways to Camouflage Dirty Hair

Learn how to hide dirty hair with three simple tricks.

By: Sarah James

Dirty hair is the bane of my existence, yet here I sit with a mane that hasn't been washed in three days. How did I get to this point? Oh yes, I remember! I don't have enough time in the day. Please tell me you can commiserate!

Whether it's running after small children, trying to get a quick workout in at the gym between work deadlines, or an extremely late night out, many of us deal with the dreaded second- and third-day dirty hair. Last I checked, our days aren't becoming any less crazed, so it's time to get down and — considerably less — dirty. Here are a few simple remedies.

1. Dry Shampoo
When I first read about dry shampoos, I was dubious, but I have become a complete convert. Just shake or spray on a little bit of this oil-absorbing, powder-like shampoo into your hair, massage lightly, wait a few minutes and brush out. Voilá! Fresh, clean hair without a hint of the greasies. Dry shampoo can extend blowouts for days, as well as give you that perfect follicular pick-me-up after a workout. (All without leaving the ashy residue that regular baby powder can leave, especially for those of us with darker shades.) If you have bangs, dry shampoo is a must. Hot, humid summer days will no longer be your foe with the assistance of this miracle worker.

2. Accessories
When in doubt, deflect. Draw your acquaintance's eye away from an impending oil slick with a beautiful hat, headband or pin. However, placement is key. A lovely pin isn't going to look so lovely placed near a greasy scalp! Pull your hair into a low ponytail and place a pin or ribbon toward the base of the ponytail. Or wear a beautiful scarf covering the front of your hairline. Hats are always a chic way to camouflage dirty hair. Textured wool berets and newsboy caps are perfect for autumn and winter.

3. Updos
There's a reason hair stylists usually request day-old hair for updos. Squeaky-clean hair can sometimes be too 's lippery' to hold certain shapes, so now is the perfect time to put that extra hair texture to work. My personal favorite that works for most hair types is a simple low bun. Don't spend tons of time trying to perfect your updo, either. 'Perfect' updos often end up looking matronly, so don't fret if you have a few loose strands here and there. For an everyday look, unstructured is best.

With these tried and true tips, no one needs to know the status of your last shampoo. It will be our little secret.

Sarah can be found contributing her musings on style, beauty and parenting at her personal blog, Whoorl, as well as the popular beauty website Hair Thursday. Her blogs have been featured on “The Rachael Ray Show,” ABC’s “Nightlineand in The New York Times.


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